Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India is eyeing double-digit growth in 2017 and also to maintain the leadership position in the category, an official of the company said on Wednesday.
“Our outlook in 2017 is to maintain double-digit growth in 2017. In the months of January and February, the sales figures were higher than that of the previous year”, VP(sales and marketing) of Mercedes-Benz India Michael Jopp said.
Launching an E-Class variant model in Kolkata on Wednesday, he said in 2016 the sales had been hit in the first eight months due to diesel ban in Delhi.
Subsequently, demonetisation also had an impact on the sales, Jopp said adding that despite odds the car maker sold 13,231 units in 2016.
“There was a slight decline of 1.8 per cent as compared to 2015, the year in which Mercedes became the market leader in the luxury car segment selling nearly 13,500-odd units,” he said.
With a 45 per cent market share in the luxury car segment in the country, Mercedes-Benz sells 23 models and its variants in India out of which nine were manufactured in its plant at Chakan near Pune.
On impact of GST, he said there was a lot of uncertainty about the tax rate which would be levied on luxury cars.
“We made a case not to be put in the highest tax bracket and urged that the luxury car segment should be allowed to grow,” he said.
Only 1.5 per cent of the total passenger car volume in India comprise luxury car sales and was not growing, he said.
“We feel that once GST is implemented, there will be some sort of a decline in the short term but will be good in the long-term,” Jopp said.
Mercedes, he said, would be ready with Euro-VI engines by 2018 and was waiting for the availability of compatible fuel in the country. The company had made an accumulated investment of Rs 1000 crore in India, he added.